Posts Tagged ‘Triple A’

Gas Prices Up for 28 Days in a Row

February 23rd, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 23, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased for 28 consecutive days for a total of 27 cents per gallon, which is the longest streak of rising prices since last spring. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.30 per gallon. Motorists are paying five cents more than one week ago and 26 cents more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. The year-over-year discount at the pump has narrowed in recent weeks but remains lofty by historic standards. After yearly savings widened to as much as $1.25 per gallon on January 26, motorists are now saving $1.11 per gallon versus this same date last year.

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Refineries are in the midst of conducting seasonal maintenance, a process that can limit fuel production and contribute to rising pump prices. In addition, there remains the potential for unexpected refinery problems to further impact production and cause temporary prices spikes in various regions. Last week an explosion at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance helped push up prices in California, while bitterly cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest led to a number of refinery problems in those areas. Ample domestic supply is expected to keep a ceiling on prices, though there is a good chance that prices will continue to rise this spring.

Compared to the start of February when motorists in 25 states enjoyed average prices below $2 per gallon, drivers in just two states today are paying an average price below this threshold. For the second week in a row, motorists in Utah ($1.95), Idaho (1.95) and Montana ($2.01) are paying the least per gallon to refuel their vehicles. On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii ($3.04) remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline and is the only state with an average above $3 per gallon.  California ($2.95), Alaska ($2.61), Nevada ($2.55) and New York ($2.49) round out the top five most expensive markets.

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With the exception of Kentucky (-6 cents) and Illinois (-2 cents), most American drivers are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles than a week ago. Prices have inched higher in 48 states and Washington, D.C. with four states registering increases of a dime or more per gallon: California (+16 cents), Nevada (+ 11 cents), Oregon (+11 cents) and Washington (+10 cents). The overall trend of rising prices is also apparent in two-week price comparisons, where the average price is up in 49 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in more than half (27) of states are paying a dime or more per gallon. Hawaii (-1 cent) is the only state where the price has fallen over this two-week period. 

Month-over-month prices have jumped in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Consumers in 19 of these states are paying a quarter or more per gallon compared to one month ago, led by: California (+49 cents), Ohio (+43 cents), Michigan (+39 cents) and Illinois (+37 cents). Retail averages moved lower over this same period in three states and drivers in Hawaii (-23 cents), Alaska (-15 cents) and Vermont (fractions of a penny) are experiencing monthly savings at the pump.

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Rising pump prices are beginning to erode, but historic declines from September to January continue to mean significant year-over-year savings at the pump. The price for retail gasoline remains discounted in every state and Washington D.C., and consumers in 46 states and Washington, D.C are saving more than $1 per gallon, led by four states with yearly savings of more than $1.25 per gallon: Connecticut ($1.35), Colorado ($1.31), Utah ($1.29) and Idaho ($1.29).

Global crude oil prices remain volatile, with markets continuing to seesaw and West Texas Intermediate crude oil last week posting its first weekly loss in a month. The balance between global supply and demand continues to weigh on prices, and despite U.S. production companies reassessing plans for exploration and production amid shrinking profit margins, domestic crude oil inventories climbed to record levels and output rose to its highest level since 1973, according to a Department of Energy report released last week.

WTI closed last week at its lowest level since February 11, settling down 82 cents at $50.34 per barrel at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX.

JulieHall17th Edition AAA PetBook to feature cover stars from California, Oregon and Connecticut

ORLANDO, Fla., (February 20, 2015) – Two lucky dogs from California and Oregon were selected as winners of the latest AAA PetBook® Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western, a AAA Preferred Hotel Partner. The winners will appear on the back cover and spine of the 17th edition of Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, available this May.

The first-place winner, a Maltese dog from California named Casey, is pictured kayaking down the Mokelumne River in Lodi, Calif. “We travel with Casey because he is family and leaving him at home isn’t fun for him or us,” said owner Ruth Clark, who also enjoys camping, biking and going to farmers’ markets with her dog.

The second-place winner, a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Murphy, from Oregon, is shown on an outing near Trillium Lake in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. Murphy’s owner, Tracey Vukovich, enjoys the priceless sparkle outdoor activities put in her dogs’ eyes. “They are truly members of our family. We enjoy ourselves more when they are included and it’s a delight to see their joy!” said Vukovich.

As a special addition to the first- and second-place winners, an exceptional photo held over from last year’s contest will be featured on the front cover of the 17th edition AAA PetBook. Lyric, a travel-loving Australian shepherd from Connecticut, is shown on a scenic trail teeming with stone formations during a walk at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Stowe, Vermont. “After a busy year of canine musical freestyle performances, our annual getaway to hang out and bond is a special treat,” said owner Carrie Nerie.

In addition to cover fame, the winners and editor’s pick receive pet treats, copies of The AAA PetBook and cash. The back and front cover dogs also receive a Best Western Travel Card that can be used at 4,000 hotels worldwide, including more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties.

Another 44 pets, selected as contest runners up, are pictured inside the book. This year’s collection includes two cats, a bird and a variety of dogs in destinations across the continent, from Glacier National Park to Lake Superior to Nova Scotia’s rocky coast. For additional bragging rights, the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery touts the winners, editor’s pick and the runners up.

Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is a valuable resource for those who enjoy bringing their pets along on vacations. Nearly 15,000 pet-friendly listings throughout the U.S. and Canada include thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels, hundreds of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants that allow pets in outside dining areas and more than 800 campgrounds.

The detailed hotel listings include fees, permitted pet sizes and conditions of stay for properties at every Diamond Rating level, from clean and simple motels to family-oriented properties to luxurious resorts. The book also includes information about pet-friendly activities, planning tips, travel etiquette and safety.

Visit AAA.com/PetBook for contest rules, entry forms, a photo gallery and valuable pet travel tips. The next photo contest opens in May when the 17th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, cover price $18.95 U.S., hits the shelves at participating AAA and CAA offices and book sellers.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About Best Western International, Inc.

Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000+* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers six hotel products to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCYSM, Vībsm and BW Premier Collection sm. Now celebrating 69 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 22 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records and accolades, including Business Travel News top chain award for both BEST WESTERN and BEST WESTERN PLUS, three consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards and six consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Forty percent of Best Western-branded hotels worldwide won TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards for customer satisfaction.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

Gas Prices Increase for Three Weeks in a Row

February 17th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 17, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased every day since January 27 for a total of 22 cents per gallon over 22 days. Today’s average price of $2.26 per gallon is seven cents more than one week ago and 19 cents more than one month ago. Consumers are still saving $1.10 per gallon at the pump in comparison to this date last year, a spread that has slowly started to narrow after widening to as much as $1.25 per gallon on January 26.

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Gas prices have increased sharply due to more expensive crude oil costs and the start of refinery maintenance season. Gas prices typically increase this time of year as refineries conduct maintenance, which can limit fuel production. Rising crude oil costs have also made it more expensive for refineries to produce gasoline, which has contributed to higher pump prices.

Even with the national average trending higher, ample gasoline supplies and lower crude oil costs than in recent years should prevent prices from rising as high as in recent memory. In addition, severe cold weather, particularly in the Northeast and Midwestern United States, may limit driving and gasoline demand in the near term. Barring any major disruptions in supply, AAA anticipates drivers will continue to pay below $3 per gallon throughout 2015.

With prices increasing across the country, a shrinking number of states are registering an average below $2 per gallon, only Utah ($1.93) Idaho ($1.94) and Montana ($1.97) remain below this threshold. Hawaii ($3.03) continues to lead the market and is the only state with an average above $3 per gallon. California ($2.80), Alaska ($2.57), New York ($2.46) and Nevada ($2.44) round out the nation’s top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline.

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Weekly comparisons continue to show that nearly all drivers are paying more to refuel their vehicles. The price at the pump has inched higher in 48 states, with 33 of these states registering increases of a nickel or more per gallon week-over-week. Motorists in California (+15 cents), Arizona (+12 cents), Oregon (+12 cents) and Delaware (+11 cents) are experiencing the sharpest increases over this period. On the other end of the spectrum, the average price at the pump has fallen in Alaska (-5 cents), Hawaii (-2 cents) and Washington, D.C. (fractions of a penny) versus one week ago. Two-week price comparisons also reflect overall increases in the price at the pump. The average price has jumped in the same 48 states and Washington, D.C., with the majority of states (41) registering double-digit premiums versus two weeks ago. California (+34 cents) and Oregon (+25 cents) are registering the largest increases in price over this period.

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Consumers in 42 states are paying higher prices month-over-month, and the price is up by a dime or more in the bulk (33) of these states. Twelve states are posting increases of a quarter or more, led by the mid-continent states of Michigan (+36 cents), Kansas (+35 cents), Illinois (+34 cents), and Missouri (+33). The price at the pump is lower than one month ago in just eight states and Washington, D.C., headlined by Hawaii (-31 cents) and Alaska (-25 cents), where consumers are saving the most per gallon in comparison to one month ago.

Despite recently higher prices, year-over-year comparisons still reflect savings nationwide. Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving at the pump, and the average price is down by $1 or more in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

OPEC’s decision not to act as a market-stabilizer is beginning impact global energy development, as companies in countries with more expensive production costs have reportedly begun curtailing investments and employment. The global price of Brent crude rallied this past week and closed above the $60 per barrel benchmark for the first time in 2015. This represents an increase of more than 30 percent since mid-January and is reflective of the global oil market’s overall volatility.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, domestic WTI crude settled at $52.78 per barrel, up $1.57 on the day.

Gas Prices Rise for Second Straight Week

February 9th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 9, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased every day for two weeks for a total of 14 cents per gallon. Gas prices had previously dropped for a record 123 consecutive days before beginning to rise again on January 27.  Today’s price of $2.18 per gallon is 12 cents more than one week ago and three cents more than one month ago. While prices have moved higher recently, the national average remains significantly less expensive than one year ago when consumers were paying $1.11 more per gallon on average to refuel their vehicles.

February typically marks the start of seasonal refinery maintenance in preparation for the busy summer driving season. Refineries usually schedule maintenance during the first several months of the year when demand is relatively low, which can lead to decreased production and supplies.

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There is additional market uncertainty this week because approximately 5,200 members of the United Steelworkers union have walked off their jobs at refineries and chemical plants responsible for processing more than 10 percent of U.S. petroleum products. While this is the first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980, the work stoppage is not expected to have a significant impact on production in the short-term because refineries continue to operate. While news of the strike has reportedly led to higher wholesale gasoline prices, abundant petroleum supplies may provide both refiners and unions with a chance to reach an agreement before there is a larger impact on consumers.

Five states are registering averages below $2 per gallon, representing 20 fewer than one week ago. Thirty-nine states are posting averages below $2.25 per gallon, and for the second week in a row motorists in Idaho ($1.89) are paying the least per gallon for retail gasoline. The Rocky Mountain states of Utah ($1.90) and Montana ($1.93) round out the nation’s least expensive markets. Hawaii ($3.05) is the only state posting an average above $3 per gallon, and is joined by California ($2.63), Alaska ($2.60), New York ($2.42) and Washington, D.C. ($2.41) as the nation’s top five most expensive markets.

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On the whole, consumers are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles compared to one week ago. Week-over-week prices are higher in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Over this same period consumers in 32 states are paying a dime or more per gallon, with the largest increases experienced by drivers in Ohio (+19 cents), California (+18 cents), Minnesota (+17 cents) and Kansas (+16 cents). Hawaii (-6 cents) and Alaska (-4 cents) were the only two states to see price declines.

Two-week price comparisons also reflect increases in the average price for retail gasoline in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in 30 states are paying a dime or more per gallon at the pump over this span, led by the Midwestern states of Ohio (+35 cents), Illinois (+28 cents) and Michigan (+27 cents) where the price has increased by a more than a quarter per gallon over this period. The price at the pump has fallen in five states during the same span, with the biggest drops seen in Hawaii (-19 cents) and Alaska (-12 cents).

The majority of U.S. drivers are continuing to enjoy month-over-month savings. However, price comparisons are a bit more balanced than prior weeks with averages down in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Consumers in Hawaii (-38 cents), Alaska (-35 cents) and Vermont (-25 cents) are saving the most per gallon, and 16 states and Washington D.C. are registering discounts of more than a dime per gallon. On the other end of the spectrum, motorists in 21 states are paying more at the pump. The price has jumped by a dime or more per gallon in 11 states versus one month ago,  with the largest increases in price seen in Michigan (+26 cents), Ohio (+23 cents) and Indiana (+23 cents).

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Motorists universally continue to experience yearly savings at the pump. With the exception of Nevada (-99 cents) and Hawaii (-98 cents), the price is down by $1 or more per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C. Drivers in three states: Connecticut (-$1.33), Maine (-$1.26) and Rhode Island (-$1.26) are saving more than $1.25 per gallon, which is 10 fewer states than last week’s report.

An oversupplied global market is expected to keep the price of crude relatively low for at least the first half of 2015. Nonetheless, the global market’s overall volatility is at a six-year high and prices have seesawed, often daily, in response to a number of factors that are putting pressure on the balance between supply and demand. High-cost production countries continue to reassess their overall production goals, and Saudi Arabia is currently maneuvering to protect its market share by adjusting prices to various countries, including Asia and the United States.

This past week WTI traded between the high $40s and low $50s, reflecting the global market’s volatility. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was up $1.21 to settle at $51.69 per barrel.

 

February Begins with Rising Gas Prices

February 2nd, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, February 2, 2015)

Gas Prices Increasing After Dropping to Lowest Levels Since 2009

  • U.S. average gas prices have increased seven days in a row for a total of two cents per gallon. Gas prices had declined a record 123 consecutive days to $2.03 per gallon before increasing last week for the first time since September 25.
  • “Many drivers are noticing an uptick in gas prices for the first time in months,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “It is typical to see gas prices increase this time of year due to refinery issues, yet hopefully the consumer impact will be less problematic given how low prices are today.”
  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.06 per gallon, which is about $1.22 per gallon less than a year ago. AAA estimates that Americans are spending about $365 million less per day on gasoline compared to this time last year.
  • The national average price of gas reached a current 2015 low on January 26 of $2.03 per gallon, which was the lowest average since March 27, 2009.
  • Gas prices have dropped about $1.64 per gallon since reaching a national average of $3.70 per gallon on April 28, 2014.
  • The average price of gas in January was $2.11 per gallon, which was the cheapest monthly average since April 2009. Gas prices in December 2014 averaged a much higher $2.51 per gallon, while the average was $3.30 per gallon in January 2014.
  • Gas prices have increased due to a combination of refinery issues and more stable crude oil costs. Refinery maintenance season is beginning and there also have been a number of refinery upsets, which can limit production. In addition, crude oil prices have stabilized, which has prevented any further declines in the price of gasoline.
  • Average gas prices had dropped to nearly $2 per gallon due to the steep decline in the cost of crude oil during the previous six month. Domestic crude oil prices (WTI) have fallen by more than half since June due to abundant supplies. U.S. oil production has increased by more than 70 percent since 2008, and this increase in production has helped to outstrip global demand, especially as economic concerns mount in both Asia and Europe.
  • Gas prices generally are at or near seasonal lows in January due to relatively weak demand. Many Americans cut back on driving and travel during the cold winter months, which can allow gasoline supplies to build.

Consumers Likely to See Gas Prices Continue Rising in February

  • AAA expects gas prices to increase this month due to refinery maintenance and decreased production. It is not uncommon for gas prices to increase 30-50 cents per gallon between early February and the middle of spring. Gas prices in February have increased during the previous five years by an average of 22 cents per gallon.
  • “It is a good bet that most drivers will pay more for gasoline in March than today,” continued Ash. “Yet even if gas prices increase as expected, drivers should continue paying at least a dollar less on gasoline than what they spent in recent years during the spring.”
  • Gas prices should remain less expensive than in recent years due to lower crude oil costs. AAA does not expect the national average price of gas to rise above $3 per gallon in 2015.
  • It is possible that gas prices could rise more slowly or even drop if there are further significant declines in the cost of crude oil. At this point, the crude oil market remains very volatile and it is possible that crude oil supplies could build further during refinery maintenance season. A significant reduction in crude oil prices could limit any prices increases due to refinery maintenance.
  • Many refineries conduct maintenance and upgrades in the spring to prepare equipment for the busy summer driving season. This maintenance can reduce gasoline production at a time when both driving and gasoline demand rises as the weather improves.

More than Half of U.S. Stations Selling Gas for Less than $2 per Gallon

  • Gas prices remain relatively cheap across the country with more than half (52 percent) of U.S. stations selling gas for less than $2 per gallon today. The most common price in the country is $1.999 per gallon. More than 6 in 10 stations were selling gas for less than $2 per gallon a week ago.
  • Drivers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $2 per gallon in every state within the continental United States. No stations in Alaska or Hawaii have reached that mark.
  • The five states with the lowest average prices today include: Idaho ($1.85), Texas ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.87), South Carolina ($1.87) and Utah ($1.87). The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($3.11), Alaska ($2.64), California ($2.45), New York ($2.39) and Vermont ($2.30).
  • Twenty-five states have an average gas price below $2 per gallon, though this number has decreased from 28 states last week.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.

After 123-Day Slide, Gas Prices Turn Higher

February 2nd, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, February 2, 2015) After falling a record 123 consecutive days, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline inched upward on Tuesday, Jan. 27 by fractions of a penny. Today’s price of $2.06 per gallon represents a total increase of two cents per gallon since once week ago, but remains 16 cents less than one month ago and $1.22 less than one year ago.

Gas prices have begun to increase due to a series of refinery issues in the Midwest and because crude oil prices are trading at more stable levels following a multi-month selloff.

Similar to years past, the national average is expected to rise in the coming months due to the seasonal demand increase and refinery maintenance. However, global oil prices continue to register multi-year lows with supply outpacing demand, and barring any events that cause the global price to increase substantially, AAA expects that the U.S. average will remain below $3 per gallon throughout 2015.

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Increasing prices are reflected across the country with 25 states registering averages below $2 per gallon, which is down three states from last week’s report. Idaho ($1.85) is joined by Texas ($1.87) and Oklahoma ($1.87) as the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline. Hawaii ($3.11) remains the only state posting an average above $3 per gallon, followed by Alaska ($2.64), California ($2.45), Washington, D.C. ($2.39) and New York ($2.39) as the top five most expensive markets.

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Weekly price comparisons are a bit more balanced than prior weeks, largely due to prices beginning to rise in a number of states. Motorists in 27 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at the pump. Hawaii (-13 cents) is the only state posting a double-digit savings week-over-week, and the price is down by a nickel or more in a total of three states including Alaska (-8 cents) and Vermont (-5 cents). On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in 23 states are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles over the past week. The largest price increases are in the Midwestern states of Ohio (+15 cents), Michigan (+14 cents) and Illinois (+13 cents), where refinery issues are keeping upward pressure on the price at the pump. A total of 10 states have seen the price creep a nickel higher or more since one week ago.

The majority of consumers in the U.S. are still enjoying month-over-month savings, with the exception of Indiana (+23 cents), Michigan (+17 cents), Ohio (+12 cents) and Illinois (+1 cent) where the price has moved higher. The average price has dropped in 46 states and Washington, D.C., over this same period and motorists in Wyoming (-43 cents), Utah (-40 cents) and Hawaii (-38 cents) are saving the most per gallon. Thirty-nine states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than a dime and 21 states are posting monthly savings of a quarter or more per gallon.

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Year-over-year calculations continue to reflect the most dramatic savings in the price of retail gasoline. With the exception of Hawaii (-91 cents), drivers every state and Washington, D.C. are saving at least $1 per gallon at the pump. Connecticut (-$1.38), Maine (-$1.37), Rhode Island (-$1.35) and Arizona     (-$1.33) are registering the largest savings over this period, joined by 10 additional states where the price at the pump is discounted by $1.25 or more per gallon.

Global oil prices are expected to remain relatively low during the first half of 2015, largely due to OPEC’s paradigm-shifting decision not to support higher oil prices by cutting production. Saudi Arabia, a key player in the decision and OPEC’s largest producer, is well positioned to weather the current volatility due to low production costs and a significant amount of savings accumulated during years of relatively high crude prices.

The ripple effects of sharply lower prices for crude are beginning to surface in both high-cost production countries as well as in producer nations that depend on oil revenue to balance budgets and provide social services to citizens. Production companies around the globe are challenged with the decision of either cutting investments or continuing to supply the market at dramatically lower profit margins. Reports have begun that some of these higher cost production projects are already opting to scale back investments and near-term spending, which could put some upward pressure on the global market for crude oil.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was up $3.71 to settle at $48.24 per barrel, which was the highest settlement in about two weeks.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, January 26, 2015) The national average continues to march toward $2.00 per gallon and has fallen for a record 123 consecutive days, for a total savings of $1.31 per gallon. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.03 per gallon. Motorists are paying three cents less than one week ago, 27 cents less than one month ago and saving $1.25 per gallon in comparison to this same date last year. While the streak of daily declines in the national averages continues, the rate of decline has slowed in recent days. After dropping for an average of more than a penny a day for the first 16 days of 2015, the average drop over the past ten days has been just half a penny. This slowing decline has been largely reflective of a number of Midwestern states where prices have moved higher over the past week due to a series of refinery issues in the region.

The Northeast is bracing for a major winter storm that could dump up to three feet of snow on parts of the region. While a snowfall such as this might pressure gasoline prices immediately higher on distribution concerns, the longer term impact is expected to be downward pressure on pump prices from lower demand, as drivers stay off the roads. However, increased demand for diesel fuel, which is also used to heat homes and power generators during electricity outages, would be expected to pressure diesel prices higher during the duration of the storm’s impact.

The falling prices at the pump are a product of global oil prices tumbling to multi-year lows. While gas prices are likely to increase this spring due to seasonal demand and maintenance, barring any major increase in the global price of crude, AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon during 2015.

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Hawaii ($3.24) remains the only state posting an average price for retail gasoline above $3 per gallon, and is joined by Alaska ($2.72) as the only two states with averages above $2.50 per gallon. California ($2.45), New York ($2.43) and Washington, D.C. ($2.41) round out the nation’s top five most expensive markets. Twenty-eight states are posting averages below $2 per gallon, with the lowest prices in Missouri ($1.78), Oklahoma ($1.81), Kansas ($1.83), Texas ($1.84) and New Mexico ($1.85).

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As outlined above, the trend of falling weekly averages is beginning to ease. While 40 states and Washington, D.C. are registering savings over the past seven days, drivers in ten states are paying a bit more at the pump over the same period. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. are posting savings of a nickel or more, and two states Ohio (-10 cents) and  Alaska (-10 cents) are reflecting double-digit savings. The largest increases over this span are the Midwestern states of Indiana (+10 cents) and Michigan (+5 cents).

Virtually all drivers in the U.S. are continuing to experience savings at the pump compared to one month ago. The only state bucking this trend is Indiana, where the price has inched upward by fractions of a penny versus one month ago due to regional production issues.  With the exception of Kentucky (-5 cents), averages are down in every other state and Washington, D.C. by more than one dime per gallon month-over-month. Wyoming (-51 cents), Utah (-51 cents), Rhode Island (-43 cents) and Connecticut (-43 cents) are posting the largest discounts over this period, and an additional 35 states and Washington, D.C. are posting discounts of a quarter or more per gallon.

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Yearly comparisons continue to reflect the most dramatic discounts, largely due to multi-month declines in the price of retail gasoline. Alaska (-92 cents) and Hawaii (-77 cents), the nation’s most expensive retail markets, are the only two states not posting yearly discounts of at least $1 per gallon.  A total of 24 states are registering savings of $1.25 or more per gallon year-over-year, with the sharpest declines in Ohio (-$1.39), Illinois (-$1.37) and Connecticut (-$1.37).

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah caused the global oil markets to slightly rally this past week on rumors that OPEC’s largest producer could possibly reassess its production levels and potentially decrease the current glut in global oil supply. King Abdullah’s successor, Crown Prince Salman, calmed the market by deciding to keep the current oil minister in his position and signaling no plans to change the country’s current production plans. By sustaining its current production levels, the resiliency of high-cost production countries like the U.S. and Canada will continue to be tested as the market is left to self-regulate at price levels that have not been seen in more than half a decade.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 72 cents, settling at $45.59 per barrel – its lowest price in six years.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015) AAA, the American Trucking Associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce delivered a joint letter to Congress today in support of increased transportation funding.

Dear Members of the 114th Congress,

AAA, the American Trucking Associations, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcome you for the 114th Congress. Our organizations are committed to improving our nation’s infrastructure system and look forward to working with you to fully fund the roads and bridges that are the backbone of American mobility and competitiveness.

Americans are frustrated with our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, including increasingly congested highways and deficient roads and bridges. Thirty-two percent of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. This neglect costs the average driver $324 each year in additional vehicle repairs and operating costs. Commutes between home and work are longer than ever before, and the average American spends 38 hours each year stuck in traffic. Furthermore, congestion on the Interstate System alone costs freight trucks more than 141 million hours in wasted time, equivalent to 51,000 drivers sitting idle for a working year.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to address this issue in the near-term: raise the federal fuels user fee, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety. While the impact of insufficient funding is evident, how we got here is not always clear. With this in mind, our organizations have put together an educational infographic on the Highway Trust Fund to serve as a primer for lawmakers and the general public as the funding of roads and bridges is considered this spring. That infographic can be found here.

There are many challenges that Congress must address this year, but we believe that finding a solution for funding the Highway Trust Fund is at the top of that list. Rather than continuing to resort to short-term funding patches that only delay tough decisions, our organizations support action to address the issue pragmatically, immediately and sustainably. While no one wants to pay more, we urge you to support an increase to the federal fuels user fee, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety, because it is the most cost efficient and straightforward way to provide a steady revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund.

The last increase to the federal user fee for gasoline was 1993. Since then, inflation, increased fuel economy, and rising costs associated with labor and construction, have eroded the user fee’s purchasing power. Congress must act to provide a reliable revenue stream to support jobs, address maintenance needs and provide Americans with a safe and efficient transportation system. Congress has patched the Highway Trust Fund five times since 2008, continuing to kick the can further down the road, and now faces yet another looming shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund with current funding set to expire on May 31.

Thank you again for your time and consideration and we look forward to continuing to work together to address the funding needs of our nation’s transportation system.

Sincerely

AAA, American Trucking Associations and U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2015) – AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet has released the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

“The state of our nation’s transportation infrastructure is deteriorating, and without significant investment it will only worsen. President Obama has outlined numerous legislative priorities tonight – from making community colleges more accessible to national energy production and efficiency initiatives – but a key part of our overall economic success will depend on a reliable network to get people to school and transport new products to factories and stores.

“The President’s proposal to leverage corporate tax reform or private investment structures to support transportation funding would provide a welcome shot in the arm for our nation’s infrastructure, but this will not provide a sustainable fix to the looming funding crisis at hand.

“We have a tremendous opportunity with gas prices hitting multi-year lows to invest a portion of these savings to properly fund our transportation system. The user fee for gasoline – often called the “gas tax” – has not increased in more than two decades; yet long-overdue action to restore funding lost to inflation is finally gaining interest on Capitol Hill.

“AAA continues to advocate for an increase to this user fee as the most effective and efficient way to fund our transportation system, provided the money is used to ease congestion and improve safety.

“We can only hope that the promise of bipartisanship and collaboration prevails so that we can achieve a sustainable and reliable long-term funding solution.”​

National Average Eyes $2 per Gallon

January 20th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, January 20, 2015) U.S. motorists are paying the lowest average gas prices since April 2009, and the national average is likely to slide below $2 per gallon before the end of the month. The average price at the pump has dropped a record 117 consecutive days, for a total a savings of $1.29 per gallon during this stretch. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.05 per gallon. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago, 36 cents less than one month ago and $1.23 less than one year ago.

The average price at the pump is directly connected to the global price of crude oil, with crude costs accounting for more than half of the price of gasoline. Like pump prices, crude oil prices have also posted multi-year lows due to global supply outpacing demand, which has kept downward pressure on the price of crude and ultimately meant hefty discounts in retail gasoline for U.S. drivers.  AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon in 2015, barring any major fluctuations in the global price of crude.

2012-2015_Avg-Gas-Prices

Drivers in 25 states are paying averages below $2 per gallon; up from 18 one week ago. For the second week in a row the midcontinent region features the nation’s least expensive states for retail gasoline, led by:  Missouri ($1.76), Oklahoma ($1.80) and Kansas ($1.81). Hawaii ($3.31) remains the only state with an average above $3 per gallon, and is joined by Alaska ($2.82) and New York ($2.50) as the nation’s only states posting averages above $2.50 per gallon.

Top10-Lowest-Average-Gas-Prices-1-20-15

Retail averages across the country continued to march lower over the past seven days, with consumers in Wyoming (-13 cents), Connecticut (-12 cents) and Washington (-12 cents) experiencing the largest weekly savings. Averages are down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. week-over-week, with 38 states and Washington, D.C. registering savings of a nickel or more per gallon. The only states to buck this trend are the Midwestern states of Ohio (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+2 cents) where prices have risen slightly versus this time last week. Two-week comparisons follow the same trend, with only drivers in Ohio (+8 cents) paying more during this span. Motorists in Wyoming (-28 cents), Utah (-26 cents) and Connecticut (-24 cents) are seeing the largest discounts over this period, joined by 11 additional states where the price is reduced by 20 cents or more in comparison to two weeks ago. Drivers in 42 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least a dime per gallon at the pump over this same span.

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Savings-1-20-15

Monthly and yearly comparisons continue to reflect that U.S. motorists are universally experiencing savings at the pump. The largest month-over-month discounts are seen in the Mountain States of Utah (-60 cents), Wyoming (-56 cents) and Idaho (-54 cents), and a total of 47 states and Washington, D.C. are posting discounts of one quarter or more. Multi-month declines in the price of retail gasoline continue to dramatically impact yearly price comparisons. Drivers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than $1 per gallon, while only the nation’s most expensive markets Hawaii (-69 cents) and Alaska (-83 cents) are outside of this trend. The steepest declines are in Illinois (-$1.37), Michigan (-$1.36) and Maine (-$1.34), which are joined by 15 other states registering savings of at least $1.25 per gallon versus one year ago.

While increased seasonal demand and maintenance at refineries may result in a typical 30-50-cent increase in pump prices this spring, a major global price recovery is unlikely to be the horizon, absent any major market disruptions or geopolitical events. These sustained lower prices would be a result of projected shifts in the balance between global oil supply and demand. This shift has been keyed by increased crude oil production in the United States and Canada and was accelerated by OPEC’s decision this fall to sustain production levels despite declines in the price of crude by electing to allow the market to self-regulate. By not continuing its traditional role as a market stabilizer and adjusting production to sustain higher prices, OPEC has put pressure on high-cost, oil-production countries like the United States and Canada. Both countries are reportedly starting to respond by easing domestic production forecasts and trimming operations and administrative costs. Crude prices are less than half of what they were six months ago, and sustained low prices will also continue to test the resiliency of countries that rely on oil revenue to fund government services.

The spread between Brent Crude and WTI continues to narrow, and stood at $1.48 a barrel at the close of formal trading on Friday. Less than one year ago WTI was trading at discount of $10 per barrel and the last time Brent fell below WTI was in 2010. WTI closed up $2.44 a barrel at $48.69 at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX.

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